LARAMIE -- The date was Nov. 5. The year, 2019.

With 14:08 remaining in the first half, a true freshman from Miami stroked the first triple of his career. He would add three more and cap his college debut with 12 points in a UT-Arlington uniform.

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That was just a precursor of what was to come.

That kid was Sam Griffin.

"UT-Dallas in the corner," he smiled, recalling that first bucket. "I jumped off, Jordan Phillips passed it to me, knocked it down."

Fast forward 1,582 days, this time sporting Wyoming threads, and that same lightning-quick point guard was doing his thing, making plays all over the court. Griffin hit his first three-point attempt of the night, the 312th of his career. He would add another in the first half, including the old-fashioned way on an aggressive drive to the rack.

It was a mid-range jumper with 1:02 left in the opening frame -- the 392nd two-pointer of his career -- that sent the senior into rarified air.

Griffin is now a member of the 2,000-point club, becoming just the fifth player in Wyoming history to accomplish that feat, joining Flynn Robinson (2,049), Justin James (2,061), Hunter Maldonado (2,158), Brandon Ewing (2,168) and scoring king Fennis Dembo (2,311).

"You know, it's a lesson -- hard work pays off," Griffin said minutes after netting 19 points in a 74-63 victory over Air Force. "I'm so thankful for everybody helping me along the way."

Though only 511 of those, so far, have come during his lone season in Laramie, every single one of those points have come as a Division-I basketball player.

A little perspective?

Isaiah Stevens is the only player in Colorado State basketball lore to reach that number. It took him five years. Not a single New Mexico player has done it. Same goes for Boise State. San Diego State, a perennial power in the Mountain West, has just one: Brandon Heath.

Griffin is a man of few words. Fellow senior guard Akuel Kot, a 2,000-point scorer himself, talked about how special this milestone really is.

"That shows you what type of player he is and what type of person he is," said Kot, who also scored 19 in the win over the Falcons. "He's in the gym, working, putting that work in every single day. You know, you're not going to get to the 2,000 mark if you're not committed and you're not loyal to the game."

It's that exact reason Jeff Linder recruited Griffin out of Westminster High School. He again was hot on his heels when he entered the NCAA Transfer Portal back in 2021.

He swung and missed again as Griffin took his talents to the University of Tulsa for two more seasons.

"Third time's a charm," Wyoming's head coach said with a grin. "... I love Sam because, at the end of the day, Sam loves basketball ... Sam Griffin hasn't had maybe one bad practice in 100 practices since he's been here. Like, he treats every rep like it's Game 7. He's a pro that way and that's what's going to give him a chance."

Don't you wish Wyoming had Griffin for three more seasons?

Air Force made things interesting, turning a 19-point Wyoming lead into a four-point affair with just 4:15 remaining. Brendan Wenzel and Kot, two players who suited up in this building one last time Tuesday night, weren't about to watch this one slip away.

Wenzel netted 11 in that timeframe, including sinking back-to-back triples. Those came after the senior guard forced a turnover and violently flushed one at the other end. Kot drove the lane to lay it up and in with 3:51 to go. He added four more free throws to salt this one away.

Wyoming is now 14-16 overall and 7-10 in conference action. The Cowboys will travel to Fresno State to close out the regular season Saturday evening. Those two teams will again hook up at the Mountain West Tournament just four days later in Las Vegas.

Tonight was about this group of seniors -- Mason Walters, Kenny Foster, Griffin, Kot and Wenzel -- and closing this home campaign out the right way.

Mission accomplished.

"That first seven minutes in the second half set the tone," Linder said, referring to holding the Falcons scoreless and going on a 14-0 run. "Down the stretch, we held them off and Akuel Kot made some big shots and had some big assists. For Brendan Wenzel to make those dagger threes on senior night was great to see.

"Overall, just a great win and happy for our guys."

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